Purchase New VX-2100 & Beachtek or Used PD-150 ????? at DVinfo.net

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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
Topics also include Sony's TRV950, VX2000, PD150 & DSR250 family.


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Old December 9th, 2004, 12:34 PM   #1
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Purchase New VX-2100 & Beachtek or Used PD-150 ?????

Hey Guys:

I just had to post this question and get some feedback on this one. Looking at the prices of a new VX-2100, I have been also casually looking at the prices of used PD-150's on ebay, and in a lot of cases a used PD-150 can be purchased for much less then the price of a new VX-2100.

Taking into account a VX2100 plus the price of a Beachtek DXA-8 as compared to a used PD150, which one makes more sense to you and why?

Regards,

Ray
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Old December 9th, 2004, 01:08 PM   #2
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A good low-hour 150 would be my choice. I've used both professionally and I'll take the 150 any day. Any day.
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Old December 9th, 2004, 01:35 PM   #3
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My gut was telling me that the PD-150 option was the way to go. What would you consider as acceptable "low hours"?
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Old December 9th, 2004, 03:56 PM   #4
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It is a price tradeff. I'd be comfortable with a few hundred drum hours and want the price to come down as it gets to 500 and beyond. At a thousand hours the price would have to be low enough to buy a new set of heads & refurb the transport.
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Old December 9th, 2004, 07:53 PM   #5
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Mike what would you say are some of your favorite key features that can be found on the 170/150 that are not offered on the 2100/2000?

For those of us who have never owned either, the obvious advantages are XLR inputs, DVCAM and more manual control. But I am sure I would gain much more info from your insight!

Regards,

Ray
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Old December 9th, 2004, 10:31 PM   #6
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I find the sound controls . . . split level controls and the finer aperature control to be extremely useful.

But #1 has to be the XLR, the the features above, then the DVCam which I use only when I need to deliver DVCam source to a client.

I've used a Studio 1 box before to convert XLR balanced to 1/8 unbalanced. It works just fine. But it is a pain to hang on the camera (or the camera on it) and is yet another thing to go wrong.

The 1/8 sockets on most cameras are known to be very delicate. An angle pull on a connector that has been inserted into those sockets has been know to ruin them.

So, from my perspective, the sound on the 2000/2100 is just not as reliable and that is a big issue for me. One cannot repeat a wedding vow, a police pursuit, and many other events that happen in front of my cameras. I'd run dual cameras if I could.

There are quite a few differences between the cameras but the ones that count are the ones that I listed.

Can you do good work with a 2000/2100? Yes. But the difference is cost between one of those and a 150/170 is peanuts compared to what I would have to return ($) if I had a sound failure (assuming I didn't get sued)
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Old December 11th, 2004, 09:48 AM   #7
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I think you'll find the finer aperture control only became available with the PD170 Mike, but I agree with your other points. One little thing in the VX2100's favour is the ability to be slightly more compact (having an in-built stereo mic).

Ray - I'd tread very carefully indeed with any second hand camcorder. If you've seen one stripped down you'd be everlastingly amazed that they can be made reliable at all. If you go the second hand route do try and take someone with you that knows the 150 and can give it a good workout before you hand over your money. And do remember that some camcorders are sold for a very good reason, and that reason might not be in your favour at all. IF possible, get some sort of warrenty - however short.

For instance, a very low hours VX2100 writer on this forum had run the abraisive head cleaner not for 10 seconds as the instructions are at pains to insist, but right the way through! And don't forget a low hours 150 could've been used in the Saraha or had tapes changed on the beach. It might have filmed the 9/11 disaster, and you can only guess what all that dust did to the capstan bearing.

So haggle, get the price as low as you possibly can, for the first repair will get you hankering after that new VX2100.

tom.
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Old December 11th, 2004, 10:17 AM   #8
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Tom, I agree with everything you said although I think a microphone in the stock position on a 150/170 is every bit as compact as the setup on the 2000/2100. Plus you can chose which microphone you wish to use as it is easy to adapt a lot of great pro microphones to that position with little effort.

I purchased used both of the large cameras I've had, first my EVW-300 (his boss insisted he go digital so I got a $10,000 camcorder for $2500 with 20 hours on the drum) and my DSR-300 from a fellow I know, who had 4 and had to purchase a pair of DSR-390s so he could use camera control units for dance recital tapings. I paid $3500 for a very nice DSR-300 that has made way more than that for me. The price allowed me to have the camera overhauled if necessary and still come out OK.

BTW, I flew from Northern California to Burbank California, rented a car and drove to Santa Barbara to examine the Hi-8 camera before I turned over the Cashier's Check. The DSR-300 deal was from him (in San Diego) to me without a pre-buy checkup because I trusted the seller.

My experiences in buying used gear have been great.
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Old December 12th, 2004, 05:50 PM   #9
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As a first time buyer, I admittedly do not have the expertise to determine the soundness of a used PD-150 other then if it is working and does not have cosmetic damage to the exterior. So I guess other then looking for low drum hours (under 500) as Mike suggested, I would be ripe for a picking.

The other interesting thing I found was in the review by Dan Ballmer where he noted a hiss problem on the the earlier PD-150ís as indicated below.

The Hiss

Upon its initial release, many Sony users were terrified to find that the PD150 (and VX2000) had an audible audio hiss problem. The problem manifested itself when the camera was taken out of Audio Gain Control (AGC) and placed in manual audio mode. For a time, Sony denied the hiss problem existed, but eventually relented under mounting consumer pressure. The PD150's owners were offered a fix, and all PD150's created after serial #1003300 (approx.) were shipped free of this problem. Unfortunately Sony considers the VX2000 a 'consumer' model camera and therefore refused to fix the audio hiss problem on this model.

http://www.dvinfo.net/sony/reports/vx2k-db.php
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Old December 12th, 2004, 05:57 PM   #10
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Looking at my options at buying a new camcorder they are as follows

VX2100 and Beachtek DXA-8 $2,500

AG-DVX100A $2,967

PD-170 $3,198
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Old December 12th, 2004, 06:38 PM   #11
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Another two features I discovered in favor of the PD-170 are

The Sony VCL-HG0758 Wide Angle Adapter is included with the PD-170, the VX-2100 does not include one. Century Precision Optics wide angle goes for $399.

Also the SMPTE features on the PD-170.
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Old December 12th, 2004, 07:21 PM   #12
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There are a lot of small differences. Like setable timecode, the use of pro code, user bits, etc.
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Old December 12th, 2004, 07:48 PM   #13
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Hi Ray

$$$ are always a consideration (for most of us..) but looking at your choices it would seem the 170 is the "best buy" at about a $700 premium. Consider all the "extras" such as DVCAM and the wide angle.
As far as buying "on-line" ,one does have to be vigilant. However , if one deals with someone with a good track record or is affiliatated for some time with a board like this the risks are lowered. most people , I believe, are basically honest but there are rotten apples about as well. So, be vigilant and do your home-work.
I bought a PD150 off e-bay from someone on this forum (he had removed it- another good sign) and all went according to plan . I got a low time PD150 and am very pleased..

Good luck and let us know your decision and comments.


Martin
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Old December 13th, 2004, 12:45 PM   #14
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Thanks Guys:

You have given me a lot of great info and options to think about! I will keep an eye out for a low hour PD150 and also strongly consider a new PD170. I wish I could take advantage of the $300 rebate before 12/31/4. However I don't see SONY raising the price of the PD170 higher then the FX1 after 12/31/4.

I will update you on my purchase.

Regards,

Ray

PS: This is best damn forum!!!
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Old December 20th, 2004, 03:41 PM   #15
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I bought a VX-2000, then a Beachtek, then a VX-2100, and recently a PD-170. I wish I had gotten the PD-170 first. The audio is so much more versatile that it makes a world of difference. Had I done things in a different order, I would never have bought the Beachtek, so going with the 2100+Beachtek first may cost you $300 extra in the long run when you end up with two cameras. You just can't do some of the things with a 2100 with a Beachtek that you can with a 170. I'd go for a low hours 150 or better yet, a new PD170 with the rebate.
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